Our firm, working with several other law firms, has filed a new class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. Ford failed to warn customers that certain Mustangs, Lincolns and other Ford models had defective throttles that caused the vehicles to spontaneously stall or decelerate. Customers who owned or leased certain Ford Mustang, Edge, Lincoln MKX and F-150 models equipped with a Delphi sixth-generation electronic throttle body filed the suit, claiming Ford concealed and failed to disclose to consumers that it knew about the throttle defects in the hope that Ford’s limited warranty would expire before consumers became aware of the problem.
Plaintiffs Fernando Aviles, Barry Kiery, Michael Kelder and James Cowen complained that the cars would spontaneously stall or suddenly decelerate to a near-idle speed. The abrupt deceleration often happened when traveling at highway speeds and often caused near-accidents or life-threatening situations, particularly because driving in a highway passing lane or congested traffic, navigating a disabled vehicle to a shoulder or different lane can be extremely dangerous.
The affected cars contained a Delphi sixth-generation electronic throttle body. They include model years 2011 to 2015 Mustang with 3.7L TiVCT engines, model years 2011 to 2015 Edge with 3.5L TiVCT and 3.7L TiVCT engines, model years 2011 to 2015 Lincoln MKX with 3.7L TiVCT engines, and model years 2011 to 2015 F-150 with 3.5L TiCVT and 3.7L TiVCT engines. The complaint states:
Upon information and belief, Ford has known of the aforementioned problems with the Delphi Gen 6 electronic throttle body since at least as early as 2009, but has failed to disclose this material information to the owners and purchasers of class vehicles. Ford first learned that the specific Delphi Gen 6 ETBs placed in class vehicles were defective soon after the vehicles were released in 2011.
Customer complaints began coming in years ago to Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the throttle defects. In January 2014, Ford investigated identical safety complaints about a specific version of the Delphi sixth-generation electronic throttle body that was installed in different Ford vehicles and Ford claimed then to have discovered and resolved a defect with the throttle body in those vehicles. However, Ford did not resolve the problems with the materially identical versions of the Delphi sixth-generation electronic throttle bodies within the vehicles at the center of the instant class action. Instead, Ford continued to sell a significant number of vehicles with defective ETBs that present enormous safety risks. The complaint states:
Despite its knowledge of these defects, Ford failed to disclose, concealed and continues to conceal, this critical information from plaintiffs and the other members of the class even though, at any point in time, it could have done so through individual correspondence, media release or any other means. Plaintiffs and the other class members justifiably relied on Ford to disclose these material defects in the Ford vehicles that they purchased or leased, as such defects were hidden and not discoverable through reasonable efforts by plaintiffs and the other class members.
We are seeking to represent a nationwide and statewide classes of Alabama, California and Florida residents who owned or leased the affected Ford vehicles. The Plaintiffs are represented by Dee Miles, Clay Barnett, Archie Grubb and Andrew Brashier from our firm; David S. Stellings, Jason L. Lichtman, Fabrice Vincent and Andrew R. Kaufman of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP; and Anthony J. Garcia of AG Law.